Thought for today:
DA Tool 5, Spending Plan:
The spending plan puts our needs first and gives us clarity and balance in our spending. It includes categories for income, spending, debt payment, and savings (to help us build cash reserves, however humble). The income plan helps us focus on increasing our income. The debt payment category guides us in making realistic payment arrangements without depriving ourselves. Savings can include prudent reserve, retirement, and special purchases.
“I guess you could say I was grandiose when I first came into DA. I resented the creditors, and regularly yelled and cursed at them on the phone. How dare they cut off my credit line? They obviously didn’t know who they were dealing with!
“Debt had beaten up my inner child and left my ego badly damaged. The stress of it affected my job, my reputation in my family.
“I latched on to DA with both hands and dove into recovery. I wanted desperately to find clarity with my money.
“I had a hard time learning to not be overly optimistic. The future was unknown, and I needed a prudent reserve to prepare for it. This was especially important because my credit rating was in the gutter, and my car was getting older. If anything bad happened to my car, I would wind up having to pay exorbitant interest rates to get another car.
“One day I complained to my sponsor about the risks that lay ahead for my family. My sponsor calmly replied, ‘You need a contingency plan, that’s all. Make it part of your Savings Plan. Stuff happens… so don’t count on no stuff happening!’ (Of course, my sponsor used more colorful language, but you get the idea.)
“The advice I got in DA was priceless. Today I ‘live within my means’. I have a contingency plan for car repairs and unexpected needs. But I enjoy life today. I worry a lot less, and ‘my means do not define me’.
“Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance”
If we live solvently, we will eventually develop a surplus that we can earmark as a prudent reserve.
Having money we don’t do anything with can be a foreign concept for most of us. The cash talks to us, begging to be spent. At times like these, we need to work the program of recovery all the more.
Am I building cash reserves, however humble?
Meditation for today:
Some birds migrate to warmer weather in Winter. They don’t “save up for a rainy day” – they find a new, sunny one to replace it. They can fly above it all, and cover a long distance in a short time.
We, too, have a way to fly above the landscape around us. We can educate ourselves about our reality. We can use our intelligence to reason new alternatives. We can do “what if” thought experiments. We can share with each other and come up with solutions together.
Our ability to reason and learn is like a bird’s ability to fly. Each ability brings its possessor to new opportunity.
Affirmation for today:
“Just for today, I will accept that I cannot solve all of my problems at once. I will take at least one small action toward my recovery.”*
*From “Just for This Day“, DA literature P-129.
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